Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Keith Richards Satisfaction

A Fair Trade Book


Title: Keith Richards Satisfaction

Author: Christopher Sandford

Date: 2003

Publisher: Carroll & Graf

ISBN: 978-0-78671-368-4

Length: 358 pages including endnotes, not counting illustrations

Illustrations: black and white photo sections

Quote: “Keith Richards…visited…the LA Zoo. As a lark he started serenading the nearest lion…and the beast went mad, roaring at Keith and trying to vault the retaining wall between them.”

Who would have thought the Rolling Stone known as Keith Richards, born in 1943, would have outlasted so many relatively wholesome and sensible pop musicians? Elvis and the Beatles are gone; they left the Rolling Stones, improbably, to carry on.

So, who should not read a book about Keith Richards: teenagers tempted to overindulge in, well, sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. Richards is a very very lucky man. You probably won’t survive doing the sort of thing he’s done all his life. If you want to choose a pop musician as a role model in life, consider George Beverly Shea.

Who should read a book about Keith Richards: anyone who enjoys true stories of the improbable. The improbable, in Richards’ and Mick Jagger’s cases, being that they not only survived more than sixty years of world-class stupidity, but kept their voices. I have to admit that I’ve never really cared for their sound, but there’s no denying that they’ve been making it about as long as I’ve been alive, and it sounds about as good or as bad as it did in 1970. (Then again, I’ve never minded their sound quite so much as some people, and lions, apparently do…)

“There was the day [Keith Richards] kicked a tactless heckler in the face.”

“Keith sashayed down oxford Street with a new cine camera, zooming in on anyone looking sick, frail or otherwise vulnerable.”

“After Keith got into a shoving match with an irate customer…he and Wyman went downtown and…bought themselves Browning Automatics.”

“[S]aid Keith, ‘I was only drinking Coke. I refused to pour mine away thinking, why…was an American cop telling me to pour the national drink down the bog? The cop pulled a gun on me.’”

After several of these stories, apparently true, had been published, fabrications started to be added to them. “The promoter Robert Stigwood…was alleged tohave short-changed the band…Keith was…said to have met Stigwood in a London nightclub…‘Keith,’ I said. ‘Why do you keep hitting hm?’ ‘Because he keeps getting up,’ he said…It didn’t happen. Violence didn’t come into it. What did was a well-oiled PR machine that was busy turning out ‘Brute!’ and ‘Moron!’ headlines.”

Nevertheless: “Keith and Mick’s drugs trial in June 1967 ended with the judge telling the jury to put out of their minds any prejudice they might have about Keith’s looks,clothes, lifestyle…about a nude girl who had been lying in front of the fire when the police arrived…the jury found Keith and Mick guilty.”


Keith Richards annoyed people enough that it would have been logical, at least, if he’d been the rock star to be shot by an insane music hater in 1980. But he wasn’t; he’s still here. Sandford has assembled a well reviewed nostalgia trip through Richards’ songs and the years when they were new.

To buy this book here, send $5 per copy + $5 per package to either address at the very bottom of the screen, from which we'll send Sandford or a charity of his choice $1. At least one additional book will fit into that $5 package.